How Asbestos is Removed
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used for over 150 years on an enormous and industrial commercial scale. It is an extremely versatile product used ideally for fireproofing and as insulation. Unfortunately, it can also be harmful and even deadly for those mishandling the material, causing serious lung diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. It is recommended for loosely-bound asbestos to only be removed by a licensed professional, as there are extreme health risks that can come with handling this type of material.
Before removing any asbestos-related materials, you should assess the size and nature of the job, and your ability to complete the task. Who is qualified to handle asbestos? When asbestos-related materials may be present, a qualified person is recommended be an occupational health and safety professional with established occupational hygiene experience related to asbestos and related handling. These persons would include:
- Registered Hygienists or Technologists with specific education and experience pertaining to asbestos management and proper handling/disposal procedures
- Registered or certified Safety Professionals in Canada with valid education degrees and experience specific to asbestos management
- A certified inspector
- Contractors with experience in asbestos abatement, management and work procedures
Although homeowners are legally permitted to remove the asbestos from their property, unless they are a professional it is not recommended to do so. Asbestos can pose a significant health risk during removal, packaging, transport and disposal, and it is important to safely handle asbestos-related material during these operations.
If you have to handle or work with asbestos it is important to remember this list of things to NOT DO:
- Do not leave asbestos-related materials around garden areas where they may be broken or crushed
- Do not walk on cement roofs made from corrugated asbestos, as there is a significant chance of falling through the roof when this material is involved
Here is a list of recommended procedures for removing asbestos:
- Do get the material tested by an accredited laboratory if you are unsure if it contains traces asbestos or related materials
- Always work with asbestos in well-ventilated areas
- Ensure material is thoroughly wet down and kept wet during work to minimize the release of fibres and dust.
Asbestos can only be thrown out at government-approved landfills with the appropriate capacity to handle such waste. Call your city office for a list of approved landfill sites who can handle specific construction wastes. All materials containing asbestos must be double-bagged and sealed in approved disposal bags for asbestos, that are printed with the accurate warnings. To avoid releasing harmful dust from asbestos into the air, the waste should be transported in a covered and sealed car or truck.
When it comes to removing asbestos, it’s often best to leave the job to professional companies like Matrix Remediation. For more information on how to deal with removing asbestos, call Matrix Remediation at 1-888-885-8683 or visit www.matrixremediation.com.